Lifelong iPhone user Switches to OnePlus Open

If you're like me and utterly bored of the lacklustre updates and improvements with the iPhone, then you'll likely be curious about the new folding and flipping phones from the Android world. So let's check out the OnePlus Open.
Lifelong iPhone user Switches to OnePlus Open

This year I honestly wasn’t looking for foldable phones. 

And as someone who has stuck with an iPhone for a very long time now, that’s saying something.

So when the OnePlus open landed on my doorstep, you’ll have to forgive me for being a bit lazy at checking it out. 

But actually - I think this phone might just be the best damn phone that I’ve reviewed for this entire YEAR! 

Design

I’ve always seen the foldable phone as the next and most natural progression for mobile phones. 

You take this slab of a traditional phone, and turn it into something that can also be a small tablet.

We’ve seen Samsung and their Z Fold shape, now nicknamed the Candybar design with it being long and slim when it’s closed. 

Their Z Flip shape which heralds back to the days when flip phones were popular.

And this year we finally saw Google with their first attempt a their more passport sized foldable.

But they’ve all had their drawbacks, they’re heavier, sometimes awkward to use and with lower quality cameras than their non-foldable brothers and sisters.

But that’s not the case with the OnePlus Open. 

Image courtesy of author

It weighs about the same as my iPhone 15 Pro Max. It has a 120hz adaptive refresh AMOLED screen. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip that I’m a HUGE fan of. 

A truckload of cameras all over this thing, a side-mounted fingerprint sensor, there’s an alert slider on the side which I’m also a big fan of, 67w fast wired charging, but no wireless charging though. 

And all of this in a package that is incredibly thin, lightweight, and dare I say that it’s easier to use and hold than any other foldable I’ve used so far.

Display / Multitasking

But, the first thing I thought when I picked up this phone, as actually a few things. 

It feels small, light, but the screen looks BEAUTIFUL. I can’t actually put my finger on why. It actually has a SLIGHTLY lower pixels per inch than the iPhone 15 Pro Max does. But it looks really sharp. It also goes to a 2800 peak nits max brightness which is crazy bright outside. And the fold in the middle, really is the best I’ve seen in a foldable phone so far. 

Watching content on this thing just kicks ass. It’s such a nice experience. 

I love how with the YouTube app you can basically pinch and zoom in as much or as little as you want. Though it doesn’t seem to come across to apps like Netflix which zoom all the way in, or all the way out, and also forces you to use your phone in the landscape position. 

But one thing I really do enjoy using on the OnePlus Open is their implementation of Multitasking. 

Image courtesy of author

You can get a maximum of 3 windows in one group, and it kinda works like this canvas that you can move around in to quickly switch apps. 

It does take some getting used to. But I like this approach over Samsung’s implementation where you can open practically as many things as you want into one view. Which - is kinda fun for a minute, but in reality, isn’t very practical. 

Switching from iPhone

Now I always get asked questions about switching from iPhone to Android. I’m thinking about making a dedicated post about that, so if you’re interested then let me know down in the comments below.

But fundamentally, you can plug in a cable to your iPhone and transfer MOST of your content across. 

Now the biggest thing I hear is the whole iMessage conversation around blue bubbles vs green bubbles. 

But for the last 3 years I’ve been using an App called Beeper, that lets me send iMessages on ANY device. 

I use it on my Android phones, I also use it on my Windows PC, I also use it on my Mac and iPhone. And not because of the whole iMessage thing, but because beeper also is a way of centralising ALL of your social media chats into a single place. 

It’s created by the guy who first created the Pebble smart watch. just LOVE that I now have a single App that combines my chats from iMessage, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Discord, Twitter, Instagram, Slack, and basically any social media platform, into one app. 

So when I want to message someone now, there’s no - oh wait, which app do I need to open to figure out where I should be messaging them. I can just go into Beeper and worst case, search for the conversation.

IDrive Cloud Backup

There is one consideration when using an App such as Beeper though, which is that you’re giving them access to your accounts for them to be able to be the middle-man to your messages. I trust that they are doing their job, I also use security keys where I can, which I have to use when logging in from ANY new location.

But especially when it comes to iMessage, you’re basically logging in to your Apple iCloud account on a virtual mac that Beeper owns. So technically they could access all of your iCloud data. Photos, Data, everything. 

Personally I’ve actually decided recently that I don’t want to give them this level of access, so I’ve stopped using iMessage via Beeper. I’m in a lucky position where most people are messaging me outside on WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. 

But do with that as you wish. This isn’t sponsored, just a happy user of Beeper for a number of years now. 

Performance

One good piece of news with the OnePlus Open though, that I was relieved to hear, is that it’s powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen2. And any phone that I’ve tested with this chip has performed flawlessly. 

Through multitasking, opening apps, browsing around, switching apps, just everything I do on this phone is an absolute joy. 

Even the latest Pixel Tensor chips seem to have caught up in terms of performance. 

The only thing I’m yet to see over in the Android world though is a watch that is as fast and fluid as these latest generation of snapdragon phones.

Something that I’m really hoping to see more of very soon, because it’s almost 2024, and Apple have been making smart watches for almost 10 years and they’re not slow. 

Yet Samsung’s Watch 6 I still saw issues with it slowing down. The Pixel Watch 2 actually is the closest I’d say, but still has some work to do. 

Battery Life & Charging

Another good thing about the Snapdragon chip means that this phone also best-in-class battery life. 

I’ve actually had a bit of a weird few weeks using this phone. We’ve just come back from New York, we’ve also been moving my home YouTube studio about with all the chargers, so the charging has been a bit all over the place.

But this phone has comfortably lasted me more than a day, and in some cases multiple days when I haven’t had a chance to use it that much. 

You can also get up to 67w with the included charger, which gives you a full battery in around 40 minutes.

But that’s not a problem for most people since the brick and cable ARE included in the box. 

Cameras

The other thing I love about the OnePlus open is their choice of Cameras. I took this phone with me on trips to New York and one at Longleat here in the UK for a Christmas Light show. And it didn’t disappoint. 

I got a tonne of images which look SO sharp, even sometimes in low light which really caught me by surprise. 

Image courtesy of author

Video quality also isn’t too bad. And whilst you do get a 6x lens on the camera, you have to be stood very still for it to be any good. And you can totally forget shooting any video, especially in low light. 

But most of the time, honestly - this is a camera that can rival many flagship cameras. Though I would still say cameras like the S23 Ultra win in certain scenarios, and the iPhone 15 Pro Max still wins when it comes to video. 

Oh, and the camera that’s on the inside, is really not that great. If you can, I’d always flip the phone around so you can use the rear facing cameras to shoot selfies, which is at least something you CAN do with a foldable phone. 

What’s missing?

But we all know that phones aren’t perfect - so what are the areas I could see for improvement on the OnePlus Open? 

For me - even though it has Face Unlock, I’d still like to see secure Face Unlock, like we get on the iPhone as FaceID, but we also got on the latest Pixel 8 series - being able to unlock your phone, but also authenticate yourself for things like banking apps and password managers. 

IDrive Cloud Backup

Wireless charging is also missing from this phone, though an Issue I’ve seen is that you can’t actually put this flat onto a charger because of the HUGE camera bump on the back. 

Then you have have pricing. This phone is still a very expensive phone. Even though it’s rivals actually cost more, if you forget about any discounts currently available. 

And of course, there’s the question over durability. Even though these phones are a few generations in now with their screen technology, it’s still an expensive phone to go wrong, and therefore an expensive phone to fix. So I’d always recommend taking out any additional insurances you can just to avoid a costly mistake.

And I think the only other missing part of the equation for me is that they’re missing the rest of the ecosystem, if an ecosystem is something that bothers you. With Google you have the whole Google Home, Google Fit, smart speakers and other smart devices, which to be fair, I think has only really become a GOOD ecosystem this year. 

But I love to see so many Android products and brands starting to mature and refund their products.

Every time I pick up an Android phone, there’s always something new and different to focus on. 

And I think this time, OnePlus might actually have the best foldable phone of this entire year. What do you think? 

I think it’s time for Samsung and Google to step up their game! 

Until the next one….

🛒https://geni.us/ONEPLUS-OPEN

Pete Matheson

Tech Reviewer. Dad. Husband & Chocolate-lover. Sign up for giveaways and behind-the-scenes on running a creative business

Pete Matheson

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to Pete Matheson.

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.